JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is spending $298 million to improve the social and physical infrastructure in Westmoreland.
  • Work is already underway to improve schools, health facilities, roads and water supply systems throughout the parish.
  • The upgrading work is being executed on behalf of the Government by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

The Government is spending $298 million to improve the social and physical infrastructure in Westmoreland.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who made the announcement in Shrewsbury, Westmoreland, on June 26, said work is already underway to improve schools, health facilities, roads and water supply systems throughout the parish.

“These projects are at various phases of implementation. The rehabilitation of the sports facilities at Delveland, New Market Oval, Pell River and Logwood has been completed at a cost of $48 million,” she noted.

The Prime Minister, who handed over 45 Certificates of Ownership to former occupants of sugar estate barracks in Barham, Shrewsbury and Masemure, pointed out that the upgrading work is being executed on behalf of the Government by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

“As we improve infrastructure in the sugar belts, some $61 million has been spent by the Sugar Transformation Unit under its Sugar Cane Road Rehabilitation Project to rehabilitate 15 kilometres of roadway, including Mint to Mount Eagle, Black Ants to Hertford, Llandilo via Glaze, and the Fish River Road,” Mrs. Simpson Miller  said.

She informed that investments in the sugar areas have also included loans for replanting under the Cane Expansion Fund.

The Prime Minister added that the Sugar Transformation Unit is reporting total investment of $1.6 billion in sugar areas between 2007 and 2014.

This level of renewed investment in sugar, Mrs. Simpson Miller said, is already paying dividends, as reflected in the 150,000 tonnes of sugar produced in this crop year, showing a 17.2 per cent increase over last year, the highest production since 2006.

“In fact, the reports are that this is a record crop year for Appleton, Worthy Park and Golden Grove,” she noted, adding that the Government is committed to empowering rural communities, as agriculture and rural development are vital elements of the country’s economic growth and development strategy.

With support from the European Union, the Government is rolling out several major projects to improve the social and economic infrastructure in sugar areas. These include the Sugar Workers Housing Programme, the Cane Roads Rehabilitation Project, the Regional Drainage Project.

There are also projects to improve clinics, schools and sports facilities in St. Thomas, Clarendon, Trelawny and Westmoreland.